Over the past three years, UK Autodrive has set the standard for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) projects in the UK, and is regarded internationally as a leading project in this space. Overseen by Arup, collaboration was at the heart of our success: Collaboration between three global car manufacturers has accelerated technological R&D, underpinned by the world-leading testing and safety support from Horiba MIRA; collaboration between two local councils has helped us find solutions to the local and social challenges that face CAV technology, backed by expertise from three of our great universities; the RDM Group benefitted hugely from the support and input from this consortium not only in developing and refining their autonomous pods but in helping to commercialise them to the extent that they now have a global footprint; and finally, collaboration between all partners has helped Thales, Gowling WLG and Axa to find solutions to some of the most complex cyber-security, legal and financial challenges in this sector. Our success in The Engineer’s 2018 Collaborate to Innovate Award is further evidence of this collaboration.
Put all this together and the UK Autodrive project successfully demonstrated the world’s first multi-modal CAV demonstration across two cities, opened the door to future CAV projects, and made the UK government’s target of driverless cars on the road by 2021 an ever more likely goal. Although UK Autodrive has now come to an end, it’s legacy will remain, and individual partners will continue to build on the learnings, holding on to that spirit of collaboration, in order to help roll out CAV technology that is safe, environmentally-friendly, inclusive, scalable, commercially-viable and job-creating. Worldwide the Intelligent Mobility sector will be worth 1.4tn by 2030, with CAVs an inevitable and necessary solution to many social and technological challenges, and the UK Autodrive has helped put the UK at the heart of this exciting new sector.